TRiPs to Homeostasis:
Maintenance of Body Homeostasis by Transient Receptor Potential Channel Modules
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels represent a diverse protein family with salient roles as versatile cellular sensors and effectors. TRP proteins control an exceptionally broad spectrum of homeostatic physiological functions, illustrated by more than 20 hereditary human diseases caused by mutations in 11 Trp genes. Most TRP channel-related human disorders impinge on development, metabolism and other homeostatic functions. However, a detailed understanding of the underlying pathophysiology is missing. There is accumulating evidence to link TRP channels to even more human diseases beyond TRP channelopathies, and accordingly, TRP proteins have been identified as appealing therapeutic targets.
The research of the CRC will help overcome a merely genetic classification of TRP channels by means of physiologically relevant functional criteria, thus leading to a functional re-definition of what is presently called the “TRP channel family”. Such fundamental insight will furthermore open up new avenues for specific, tailored treatment options for patients suffering from diseases inflicted by dysfunctional TRP proteins.